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Catalog of Long Term Research Conducted by the Northeastern Research Station

Catalog #55

Evaluation of Allegheny Hardwood Site Quality
To identify the soil, stand, and environmental variables that affect 1) the capacity of Allegheny hardwood stands to produce wood, 2) the quantity of advanced regeneration in normally stocked stands, and 3) the quantity of ferns and grasses present in uncut stands.
1982
1986
NY. and northwestern PA. Allegheny hardwood forests. Stands chosen for study were between 60 and 75 years old and each stand was uniform in species composition, soils, and topography. Dominant species were black cherry, sugar maple, and red maple. Common associates were white ash, American beech, eastern hemlock, and black birch. Elevation varied between ~1,000' to 2,600'. Within this range, the effective soil depth varied from a foot or less in soils where an impermeable and strongly cemented fragipan has developed to more than 6 feet in some areas. The geologic strata from which the soils formed were represented by a number of formations from Pennsylvanian, Mississippian, and Devonian age materials.
A series of temporary square 0.5-acre plots on the Allegheny Plateau were established in fully stocked, even-age stands that encompassed the existent range of soil and topographic conditions. The selected stands were free from major historical disturbances such as cutting, windthrow, and major stem damage.
20%
No human intervention.
All field measurements were taken according to the Standard Code and Instructions for Using Tally Form for Regeneration Studies (1980, USDA Forest Service Unit 1152, Warren, PA.). 
Measurements of stand volume, site index, stand height, and stand volume growth are related to stand age, species composition, and soil and topographic features. The final product will be a model that can be easily and routinely applied to evaluate site productivity. 
Inventory = all trees > 1.0" d.b.h. were measured for species, crown class, diameter, total height, height to 4.5" diameter outside bark, height to 11.0" diameter outside bark, merchantable height.
Crown Class = dominant, codominant, intermediate, suppressed. 
Diameter was measured to the nearest 0.1" at 4.5' above the ground on the uphill side of the tree. 
Heights were recorded to the nearest 1.0' using a Blume-Leiss altimeter during the leaf-off season. 
Increment Cores were extracted from each site tree at 4.5' above the ground on the uphill side of the bole. 
Height and age determinations were measured on 15 dominant and codominant black cherry trees in each plot that show no evidence of past suppression and which did not have major stem defects. 
Remaining trees on each plot were measured for species, d.b.h., merchantable height to a 4" top, and tree quality. Advance seedling tallies included all seedlings less than 4' tall by species on 15 square 0.001-acre plots.
% Of area covered by ferns and grasses was determined from tallies made at the same points used to assess advance regeneration.
Soil and topographic descriptions including subsurface soil descriptions were obtained from three excavations per plot, which were made using a backhoe.
Independent: site index, height, stand volume in cubic feet/acre at mean stand age, stand volume in cubic feet/acre, average annual volume growth in cubic feet/acre, number of advance seedlings, % area covered by ferns, number of fern fronds per acre, % area covered by grasses.
Dependent: average stand age, species composition, stocking, acceptable growing stock stocking, CAP diameter, elevation, aspect, slope, geologic parent material, longitude and latitude, F + H horizon thickness, A1 and A horizon thickness, Effective soil depth, depth to strong mottling, drainage class, texture of A horizon, texture of B horizon, surface and subsurface stoniness, soil series.
Ground cover and soils evaluated, and stands measured: 1982, 1983, 1984.
"Tailgate" safety sessions were given prior to starting any new phase of work. Tree heights were measured by only 1 person using a Blume-Leiss altimeter. Only an experienced operator used the backhoe for soil excavations. Data were field checked and data-entry into computer was 100% cross checked with field sheets.
Raw data by plot reside on DG and tally sheets are kept with written instructions and detailed maps to each stand. Annually, the raw data are transformed using the REGEN1 program in DG Info. System. Summarized data by plot and by stand reside in a DG-based program that can output to ASCII text files.
Studies of Ecosystem Processes
2000
Working plan. 1982. Lew Auchmoody. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northeastern Forest Experiment Station, Warren, PA.
Susan Stout, USDA, Forest Service, P.O. Box 267, Irvine PA 16329. (814) 563-1040
Allegheny National Forest

 

  

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